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IT’S TOO HOT


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Martha and the Vandellas immortalized the line “it’s like a heat wave burning in my heart,” in their breakthrough hit in 1963, and that’s exactly the way some stranded motorists are feeling today.

 

As a result of the record white-hot pre-summer temperatures, AAA Mid-Atlantic is experiencing a spike in the number of calls to its Emergency Road Service (ERS) Center for assistance from the drivers of stranded, stalled and disabled vehicles.

 

As of 5:00 p.m. today, the auto club had already received nearly 4,840 calls from distressed motorists throughout its footprint, including 1163 calls in Maryland and 1015 calls from Virginia drivers.

 

The auto club dispatched road crews to rescue 184 hot and bothered motorists in Washington, D.C.

 

One a typical summer day the number of service calls averages 5,600 during a 24-hour period, the auto club spokesman noted.

 

However, the call volume is already up 4.3 percent over the same day a year ago and the area motorists are in the throes of the evening rush hour, which can exact a tremendous toll on vehicles, their drivers and their passengers in a heat wave.

 

“Extreme heat can kill, make no mistake about it. It is a threat to children and older passengers left in cars, and it is tough on automobiles too,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs.

 

“We are seeing a lot of calls for jump starts and for towing due to overheating. The heat can leave motorists stranded in dangerous situations.”

 

Although summer hasn’t officially started yet, the National Weather Service has posted another heat advisory and issued heat-related safety tips. The warning: “Stay out of the sun.”

 

Temperatures are expected to be between 95 and 100 degrees both Monday and Tuesday, predicts the National Weather Service.

 

This combined with a humid air mass will allow heat index values to reach up to 105 degrees.

Edited by Luke_Wilbur
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Guest American for Progress

The evidence for the consequences of global warming is appearing with alarming frequency. This morning's headlines are filled with tales of deadly weather: "At least four people were killed and about 40 injured when a tornado tore through a Boy Scout camp in western Iowa on Wednesday night"; "two people are dead in northern Kansas after tornadoes cut a diagonal path across the state"; "[t]wo Maryland men with heart conditions died this week" from the East Coast heat wave. These eight deaths come on top of reports earlier this week that the heat wave "claimed the lives of 17 people" and the wave of deadly storms killed 11 more: "six in Michigan, two in Indiana and one each in Iowa and Connecticut," as well as one man in New York. Tornadoes this year are being reported at record levels. States of emergency have been declared in Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Michigan because of floods and wildfires. Counties in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have been declared disaster areas due to the historic flooding that has breached dams, inundated towns, and caused major crop damage, sending commodity futures to new records. The floodwaters are continuing down the Mississippi River, with "crests of 10 feet or more above flood level" for "at least the next two weeks."

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For the next two decades a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of emissions scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all Greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. Afterwards, temperature projections increasingly depend on specific emissions scenarios.

 

Warming will be greatest over land and at most high northern latitudes and least over Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean. There is also high confidence that many semi-arid areas (e.g. Mediterranean Basin, western United States, southern Africa and north-eastern Brazil) will suffer a decrease in water resources due to climate change.

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Warming in Appalachian mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources.

 

In the early decades of the century, moderate climate change is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5 to 20%, but with important variability among regions. Major challenges are projected for crops that are near the warm end of their suitable range or which depend on highly utilised water resources.

 

Washington DC will be further challenged by an increased number, intensity and duration of heat waves during the course of the century, with potential for adverse health impacts.

 

The Eastern Shore and Ocean City communities and natural habitats will be increasingly stressed by climate change impacts interacting with development and pollution.

 

There will be Salinisation in irrigation water. When soils are salty, the soil has greater concentrations of solute than does the root, so plants can't get water from soil. With decreased freshwater agriculture production in Maryland and Virginia will get smaller.

 

The cost of coastal protection for tourism will increase dramatically more than what it is today. More people will relocate inland to Western Virginia, and Western Maryland.

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